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Cambodia sees slight decrease in rice export in 7 months due to price competition

PHNOM PENH, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) — Cambodia had exported 89,800 tons of milled rice in the first seven months of this year, a 2.6 percent drop from 92,200 tons at the same period in a year ago, showed the statistics from the Ministry of Commerce’s Camcontrol Department on Thursday.

However, the revenues from the export had increased by 23 percent to 63.4 million U.S. dollars during the January-July period this year thanks to rising rice prices in the international market.

Officials said that the decline in export quantity was due to tough competition in prices with other countries.

“The decline in export is due to tough price competition in the global market,” said Khuon Savuth, chief of the Camcontrol Department’s statistics division. “More importantly, we notice that the prices of Vietnamese and Indian rice are cheaper than us. ”

Nonetheless, he expressed optimism that rice export would see growth again this year thanks to a newly signed rice agreement between Cambodia and Indonesia.

Indonesia signed last week to buy at least 100,000 tons of rice a year from Cambodia.

Lim Bunheng, president of Loran Import-Export Company and Rice Exporter Association, said that the market for Cambodian rice this year is not very good because India has sold off about 4 million tons of its rice stocks.

Cambodia’s milled rice has been exported mainly to European markets and the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.

The Southeast Asian nation produced some 8.25 million tons of paddy rice last year. With the amount, it’s estimated that there is around 2.5 million tons of milled rice left over for export this year.

In August, 2010, the government launched the rice export promotion strategy, aiming at exporting one million tons of milled rice by 2015.

Last year, the country exported some 170,000 tons of milled rice, according to the Ministry of Commerce.

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